Movember – Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate cancer is the SECOND most common cause of cancer in men!*
In November, we draw attention to serious problems affecting men’s health, primarily prostate diseases. The most dangerous among them is the malignant tumor of the prostate, which can now be screened and treated well if detected early.
The Movember movement started in Australia, to raise awareness of prostate cancer. The name comes from the combination of the words mustache and November—men who join this movement grow mustaches or beards and women stand out to support them.
Prostate cancer can be diagnosed early, and at this stage, treated successfully. Therefore, it’s important to know how this disease can be detected.
Symptoms and Signs of Prostate Cancer
In the early stage, prostate cancer has no typical symptoms, therefore it is necessary to have screening tests by which it can be detected. Early detection is crucial because the survival rate is very high when caught early.
In more advanced stages, signs and symptoms may include:
- Urinating more often than usual or having difficulty starting urination;
- Difficulty emptying the bladder (hesitancy);
- Blood in the urine or semen;
- Pain in the lower back, hips or pelvis that doesn’t go away after a few days’ rest.
Of course, feel free to contact your urologist with any complaints you may have.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
- Age: As men get older, their risk of prostate cancer increases. The chance of developing this disease is higher by 10% for each year after age 50.
- Family history: Those men who have a close male blood relative (e.g. parent, sibling or child) diagnosed with prostate cancer, or whose mothers or sisters were diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer before age 55, are at increased risk.
- Diet: Studies have linked diets high in red meat and low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains with an increased risk of getting this cancer.
- Obesity: Men who are overweight or obese are more likely than those who are normal weight to develop this disease.
- Ethnicity: African American and other men of African ancestry, are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the United States.
Importance of Prevention and Early Detection
Take steps to prevent prostate cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. These include eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and avoiding tobacco products.
Screening is an important part of early detection. Screening can often find cancers before they grow large enough to cause symptoms or before they spread beyond the prostate gland.
The European Association of Urology recommends regular prostate screening from the age of 45.
Prostate Cancer Screening
The screenings determine the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level with a blood test and a physical examination. An elevated PSA level indicates a prostate disease: prostate cancer, prostatitis or benign enlargement. The blood test is supplemented by a physical examination, which is painless.
If the elevated PSA level or the physical examination reveals a malignant disease of the prostate, the urologist may prescribe further examinations: ultrasound, MR, and if necessary, a histological examination.
How is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
Manual examination: Manual examination of the prostate through the rectum is an inevitable part of cancer screening aimed at preventing the disease. It is often found to be uncomfortable, but not painful. The doctor performs the examination discreetly and gently.
Ultrasound: The ultrasound examination provides an extremely accurate picture and immediate feedback on the state of the prostate. By this prostate cancer can be screened out with high probability, even if it has not yet produced symptoms, and lesions that cause suspicion of the disease can be effectively remedied. Ultrasound examination can be performed successfully with a full bladder, so drink plenty of fluids before arriving for the screening test, and refrain from urinating.
Laboratory: Thanks to the development of diagnostic methods, PSA can be detected in the blood. The test is reliable, it cannot happen that it does not immediately indicate an emerging disease. Intense physical exercise, long-distance cycling, prostate massage, rectal prostate examination and sexual activity can increase PSA values, so you should refrain from these in the two days before the PSA examination.
The risk of dying from prostate cancer is one-third lower among men who have regular prostate checkups. All men over the age of 50 should participate annually in a combined screening involving a physical examination performed by a urologist and a PSA level check. This is especially important if you have a family history of prostate cancer, in which case the check-up is recommended from the age of 45.
Feel free to contact our urologists and radiologists to answer any questions you may have about prostate diseases and their testing.